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Resource guarding - Shiuh Tzu

(7 Posts)
Absentwomen Mon 17-Dec-18 13:24:13

Hi all,

My 4-year old Shiuh Tzu has suddenly started resource guarding. He's become growly and locks down his jaw on squeaky toys.

I've noticed it more when at my friends when he helps himself to her dogs squeasy toys.

I've asked her to make sure that her dogs toys are away when we visit. I don't like people giving in to him as he has the cute factor and I don't feel it's okay that he's allowed to help himself to other dogs toys.

I'm going through some techniques with him at home. I'm just a bit concerned that my grandchildren will attempt to remove a toy from him and he'll snap.

How do I address this before kids land on us at Christmas?

OP’s posts: |
mrsjackrussell Mon 17-Dec-18 13:27:32

Hi, I have shih tzus too. Don't know if your already doing this but train the dog to have the toy taken from him. If he's still doing it just hide all toys when visitors come round. Is he snapping with it?

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Mon 17-Dec-18 13:37:52

This isn't resolvable this side of Christmas. It is, however, managable.

I'd be putting away anything that the dog has guarded or is likely to have value to him - no toys, no chews, no bones, feed separately from the family and take up any uneaten food. Bed to go somewhere quiet that the rest of the family aren't allowed to go. In essence, give him nothing valuable enough to start guarding.

Then, book in some professional help for the new year - ideally an APBC or CCAB accredited behaviourist. Whatever you do, avoid anyone who talks about pack leadership / alpha dog theories, or who uses punishment.

Resource guarding can be a bugger to fix, but it sounds like you've caught it relatively early before it has become an ingrained behaviour.

Absentwomen Mon 17-Dec-18 13:46:39

Hi mrsjackrussell

He's just started doing it with a ball that had a squeak that my DP bought for him.

He's not snapping at me, but rigid body and growling if we so much as go near him. I'be been doing as you suggest with drop commands but the little sod is not engaging. He's not guarding his food and has done so.

I'm possibly on alert as my DGS is 14 month old. I'LL have to put away his ball while here.

Thanks for advice.

OP’s posts: |
Absentwomen Mon 17-Dec-18 13:56:40


Thanks so much. I'll look into your recs.

I'm determined to break through this recent shift in his behaviour. I'll have to remove this blessed ball that he's guarding. We've just cracked the lead agression with him too.

I've done a lot of reading on the breed, but nothing much of value out there for this. He's a delightful character so I'm wanting to break this latest trait he's developed.

Appreciate the recommendations.

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Mon 17-Dec-18 14:11:42

I like to call this "behavioural whack-a-mole" - you batter one problem into submission (not literally - no battering actually involved!) and another one pops up in its place! I know how it feels... Eventually I think I'll either arrive at some problems I can live with or are unresolvable.

Thankfully resource guarding with humans is more resolvable than it is with other dogs as we can provide a consistent training programme, which other dogs can't! Mine started guarding sticks in the park so now sticks are banned completely. No training, just management of the issue, but it means it's no longer a problem for us.

To be honest I'd bin the ball and, perhaps after christmas, replace it with one that's less valuable (eg not squeaky). Does your dog enjoy a game of fetch? If so, it's a great way to teach a dog that giving up a toy briefly means something extra fun happens.

mrsjackrussell Wed 19-Dec-18 21:26:42

It's hard. One of mine growls and snaps because she doesn't want to go outside. She's got worse as she's got older. My mums shih tzu is the same. He dominates her. I let my dog know who's boss, and that I'm not scared, and luckily don't have any small children around. She looks so cute but she's not.

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